Amazon Peacock Bass Fishing Trips to the Rio Negro & Rio Madiera in the Amazon River Basin in Brazil

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Any true angler that has never fished for "Giant Peacock Bass" in the Amazon must absolutely put it on their bucket list! Those that have had the experience are, no doubt, looking forward to their next opportunity to return. My trip on the Amazon Santana was not my first time fishing in the Amazon, and I was pleasantly surprised at the comfortable accommodations on the yacht. It "far" exceeded my expectations and was considerably better than previous houseboats from which I had fished on the Rio Negro.

Our group met the Amazon Santana at Barcelos on the Rio Negro, and the crew handled our luggage and rod cases from the time we got off the plane until it was delivered to our cabins. Those that chose not to bring their own rods and reels were provided with good tackle, unlike some of the other trips I had been on. After a hot buffet lunch, pairs of anglers joined their guides and were able to get in several hours of fishing on arrival day.

The experienced guides, most of whom spoke English, constantly amazed me. Although the Amazon Santana moved each day in order to fish new water,they seemed to know each area like the back of their hands. With no charts, no GPS and no channel markers on the river they navigated the thousands of islands, rivers, lagoons, creeks and hidden lakes in order to seek out the best hot spots. In addition to catching Speckled, Orinoco and Butterfly Peacocks, we caught numerous other species unique to the Amazon basin which was always fun. Our guide led us to several big Peacocks including a 23, 21, 20 and 19 lb bass. The 20 lb Peacock was caught on fly tackle.

Our week long experience included, on different days, a shore lunch, barbecue dinner on a sand bar, dining under the stars on the top deck, and even an optional visit to a local native village. Except for an occasional fly, mosquitoes and other pesky critters were almost non existent. Returning to the yacht each day after 10 or 11 hours of fishing, we were met with a cold drink and a welcome cold damp towel. The food was plentiful and the bar was open all week.

All in all, it was a great experience which I am looking forward to experiencing again some day.

Mike Leech, Former IGFA President

PEACOCKS FROM THE AMAZON SANTANA

Any true angler that has never fished for “Giant Peacock Bass” in the Amazon must absolutely put it on their bucket list!  Those that have had the experience are, no doubt, looking forward to their next opportunity to return.    My trip on the Amazon Santana was not my first time fishing in the Amazon, and I was pleasantly surprised at the comfortable accommodations on the yacht. It “far” exceeded my expectations and was considerably better than previous houseboats from which I had fished on the Rio Negro.

Our group met the Amazon Santana at Barcelos on the Rio Negro, and the crew handled our luggage and rod cases from the time we got off the plane until it was delivered to our cabins. Those that chose not to bring their own rods and reels were provided with good tackle, unlike some of the other trips I had been on.   After a hot buffet lunch, pairs of anglers joined their guides and were able to get in several hours of fishing on arrival day.

The experienced guides, most of whom spoke English, constantly amazed me. Although the Amazon Santana moved each day in order to fish new water,they seemed to know each area like the back of their hands. With no charts, no GPS and no channel markers on the river they navigated the thousands of islands, rivers, lagoons, creeks and hidden lakes in order to seek out the best hot spots.   In addition to catching Speckled, Orinoco and Butterfly Peacocks, we caught numerous other species unique to the Amazon basin which was always fun. Our guide led us to several big Peacocks including a 23, 21, 20 and 19 lb bass. The 20 lb Peacock was caught on fly tackle.

Our week long experience included, on different days, a shore lunch, barbecue dinner on a sand bar, dining under the stars on the top deck, and even an optional visit to a local native village. Except for an occasional fly, mosquitoes and other pesky critters were almost non existent.   Returning to the yacht each day after 10 or 11 hours of fishing, we were met with a cold drink and a welcome cold damp towel.    The food was plentiful and the bar was open all week.

All in all, it was a  great experience which I am looking forward to experiencing again some day.

Mike Leech, Former IGFA President


FISHING REPORT

Location:      Rio Negro/Amazon River/Manaus Brazil

Trip Date:     December 10 – December 18, 2010

Group Size:   17 Anglers

# of Days:      6  – (4 late-arrival anglers fished 5 days only)

Numbers:   779

Size:             10 lb.’ers – 6,    11 lb.’ers – 1,     12 lb.’ers – 2,    13 lb.’ers – 2,

14 lb.’ers – 1, 15 lb.’ers – 4, 16 lb.’ers – 2,     17 lb.’ers – 1,

18 lb.’ers – 2,      19 lb.’ers – 2,       20 lb.’ers – 1, 21 lb.’ers – 2,

22 lb.’ers – 2, 23 lb.’ers – 1,        and  24 lb.’ers – 1

(non-published were under 10#)

Water Level:  Although the water levels were by no means “too” high, the jungle was unusually quiet during our trip.  This might have been one of the reasons that the fishing was a bit slow for this week.

Baits Used:     Lures of choice for this trip were Jumping Minnows, Zara Spooks, and Jigs.

Notes:  All in all, everyone had a good trip and appreciated the efforts of the Guides and Staff.  We received quite a few compliments on the accomodations being great as well as the food, and service, being exceptional.

IN CLOSING……….”HAPPY NEW YEAR’S TO YOU ALL, AND HAVE A SAFE AND JOYOUS HOLIDAY.

TO ALL OF YOU ON YOUR WAY TO OUR YACHT FOR THE NEW YEAR’S FISHING TRIP AND FESTIVITIES……….TIGHT LINES TO YOU THIS WEEK, AND ENJOY YOUR “TRIP OF A LIFETIME”!

David McCarthy

Hooked On Adventures, LLC

"A wonderful and amazing fishing excursion to the Amazon was provided to me by the staff and guides aboard the Belle Amazon and Hooked On Adventures!  We experienced a few mechanical problems aboard the Belle Amazon, but the staff came through for us and got us to the hot fishing by hook or by crook!  I had a teener (or above) landed each day, so I am looking forward to the next trip to do a repeat.  I would definitely book with Hooked On Adventures again.  They really out did themselves in service and knowledge of the best fishing locations!    Thanks, Hooked On Adventures and Belle Amazon staff,  for an experience of a lifetime!"

- Jay Hastings , Union City, California


Jay's 24 lb.'er!

FISHING REPORT – Week ending 11/14/10 

First, we would like to wish you all a “Happy Holiday Season” and hope to see some of you on our upcoming DECEMBER  31st NEW YEAR’S BASH at the Tropical Hotel in Manaus, Brazil, the night before we leave for our regularly scheduled fishing trip. “Come Celebrate With Us for New Year’s Dinner/Dancing/Drinks/Fireworks on the Beach!!  Hope you all can join us.

Next, let me just say this…… “Wow, as long as I have been in the fishing business (always representing the Santana Yacht Fleet), I have never heard of one of our yachts having a glitch on a fishing trip!”  One minute I am watching the news about the Princess Cruise Line completely breaking down leaving everyone stranded and running out of staples, and the next minute I hear the computer in “our” ship went out.  Needless to say, my head started spinning wondering how David McCarthy (Owner/Operator) was going to maneuver this one (Thank God it was him on the boat and not me having to figure that one out!).   David and his partner immediately summoned a qualified diesel mechanic by way of charter plane at which time he spent the next 4-6 hours trying to remedy the problem.  He quickly went to work only to find out it was a computer problem that could not be fixed in the time frame nor the location in which the yacht was currently positioned.   Having only moved approximately 40-50 miles north of Barcelos, we realized we were going to have to improvise to have a successful trip.   We thought we would hire another boat to try and move the yacht up river, but when all efforts failed due to the weight of the Mothership, we were pulling our hair out trying to figure out any remedy that would work for our clients.    David immediately sent to Barcelos for additional gasoline for the bass boats, as well as instructed all the Guides to fish their clients until 6 o’clock each night. 

Well, as usual, David was making sure everyone had some good food (you “know” you’re going to get a good breakfast with this guy on board because it’s “his” favorite meal of the day i.e. pancakes, waffles, bacon, eggs, and goodness knows what else).  

 Well, there are just things in life sometimes (especially in the Amazon) that make you go “hmmmmmm?”   However, our courteous staff was wonderful as usual doing all they could to keep everyone happy and satisfied, along with Harry being his awesome entertaining self and great host.

 In closing, and “against all odds”, our knowledgeable Guides and experienced Anglers pulled off some very good fishin’! 

TESTIMONIAL:  “A wonderful and amazing fishing excursion to the Amazon was provided to me by the staff and guides aboard the Belle Amazon and Hooked On Adventures!  We experienced a few mechanical problems aboard the Belle Amazon, but the staff came through for us and got us to the hot fishing by hook or by crook!  I had a teener (or above) landed each day, so I am looking forward to the next trip to do a repeat.  I would definitely book with Hooked On Adventures again.  They really out did themselves in service and knowledge of the best fishing locations!    Thanks, Hooked On Adventures and Belle Amazon staff,  for an experience of a lifetime!”    –  Jay Hastings         

(Check out Jay’s 24 lb.’er)

Location:      Rio Negro/Amazon River/Manaus Brazil

Trip Date:     November 5 – November 14, 2010 

Group Size:   17 Anglers

# of Days:      6

Numbers:   1745

Size:             10 lb.’ers – 14,    11 lb.’ers – 5,     12 lb.’ers – 8,    13 lb.’ers – 3,    

                     14 lb.’ers – 4,      15 lb.’ers – 4,       16 lb.’ers – 5,     17 lb.’ers – 5,   

                     18 lb.’ers – 6,      19 lb.’ers – 0,       20 lb.’ers – 3,      21 lb.’ers – 1,    

                     22 lb.’ers – 3,     23 lb.’ers – 1,        and  24 lb.’ers – 1! 

                    (non-published were under 10#)

Water Level:  Levels were extremely low this round (even though I’ve heard rumors that we here at Hooked On Adventures have control of water levels and weather and can even perform miracles ::laughing::).  Hey!  They still caught good numbers!

Baits Used:     Lures of choice for this trip were High Rollers and Jigs.

**We’re gearin’ up now for our next trip December 10th where we will be sailing the Mothership, the “Amazon Santana”.  Stay tuned for the next fishin’ report., and again, “Happy Holidays to you and Yours. We value and appreciate our fishin’ family”!

Pamelah Howard, Director of Sales & Marketing

A Five Star Rating goes out to David McCarthy and his Belle Amazon operation, staff and guides for this trip! The accommodations, food and service were top shelf. The trip went smoothly with direction from the Manaus representative Paula; the boat manager Naldo; the head guide CoCo to the legendary "Harry the waiter." Stateside, I want to extend a special thank you to Hooked on Adventures for coordinating logistics with the Brazil operation and staff.

David Fields - Mt. Vernon, Illinois

Harry and Dining Table

Let’s keep it simple… 10 anglers fishing 6.5 days on the Rio Negro from the Belle Amazon mother ship caught 1440 Peacock Bass up to a 23.5# Monster landed by first time Amazon angler Kent Standerfer on the first day! Now that’s an initiation! A total of 71 fish over 10# including 21 “teeners” and 7 over 20# produced the top 5% for the week.

Fishing conditions varied over the week due to localized weather conditions and rising water the last three days. The first three days of the week were certainly the most productive. Fish were positioned near main river sandbars as well as sandbars developing around the entrances to the lagoons and in river bends. Secondary location patterns found fish located along lagoon edges often relating to isolated wood features. Minimal early fry balls were observed but a few were productive for larger fish.

Productive Lures for the week included HighRoller Riprollers in Fire Tiger and Halloween; KLures “Grande Ripper” and “Chico Ripper” in Clown and Jacunda; Jigs in Red and White or Yellow and Red.

One word sums up my trip to the Amazon - PERFECT!  From Paula's first greeting at the Manaus airport, to the greeting at the "mother" ship, to Harry's smile when he handed me my first ice cold frozen drink at the boat - just PERFECT! The meals were PERFECT in every way! My guide "machete Eddy " was PERFECT!. Just how did Eddy know that there was a 12 pounder laying in wait next to that tree? How did he know that I needed another ice cold water? Eddie would tie a new knot on my lure then point to a slight ripple in the water and say " Again, Senor Doug ",  and I knew from the smile on his face that another Monster Peacock was waiting for my cast!   The staff was PERFECT!  So Naldo, Harry and Eddy .... watch for me .... I am coming back!  You guys are the PERFECT host.  Oh, I need to hear his words again  " Again, Senor Doug "!

Thanks so much for the PERFECT trip,

Doug Knepp , Lancaster, PA

Well, we’ve kicked off our 2010/2011 season with a GOOD FISHING REPORT!

FISHING REPORT – Week ending 10/1/10

Location:      Rio Negro/Amazon River/Manaus Brazil

Trip Date:     September 24, 2010 Week

Group Size:   18 Anglers

Numbers:    2361

Size:             10 lb.’ers – 21,    11 lb.’ers – 10,     12 lb.’ers – 11,    13 lb.’ers – 7,    

                     14 lb.’ers – 6,      15 lb.’ers – 7,       16 lb.’ers – 5,     17 lb.’ers – 5,   

                     18 lb.’ers – 6,      19 lb.’ers – 6,       20 lb.’ers – 5,      21 lb.’ers – 4,    

                     22 lb.’ers – 2,     23 lb.’ers – 1,        and  24.5 lb.’ers – 1!

                    (non-published were under 10#)

Water Level:  Water levels were terrific on our first week with some awesome fishing! 

Baits Used:     Lures of choice for this trip were Woodchoppers, High Rollers and Jigs.

Owner/Operator, David McCarthy attended this trip.  He commented on the excellent water conditions and the fish were staging themselves into the primary and secondary points leading into the lagoons and off the main channels.  Regarding the yacht and overall trip, everyone had a good time!  David and some helpful friends and customers, helped bring the goodies over for the Chef to whip up a great addition to breakfast and everyone enjoyed their pancakes and goodies.  We will now have homemade tortillas to load fresh fish into as the kitchen staff is really at its best this year!  (mmmm).   

**Group Leader’s comments:  To be announced when Group Leader returns to the U.S.

Hi David,

Thank you for a fantastic fishing trip for Peacock Bass on the Amazon River.
The trip could not have been better.
The fishing, accommodations, & Staff were stellar.
Here are some photos taken while on our trip.
We are a group of four who have fished extensively world wide.
This is by far the most memorable trip we've had.
Once again, Thank you for a great time.
I am looking forward to coming again.

Dean Larsen
St. George, Utah

"If you’re looking for adventure and the fishing trip of a lifetime, Dave is your man!"

Dave convinced me and my Dad, Chuck, to go to Brazil to fish for the mighty Peacock Bass. This is our 2nd trip down to the Amazon with him. We have fished in Alaska several times and as far as adventure, “No Comparison!!” Peacock Bass are the strongest and most aggressive fish I’ve ever hooked. For me it was the Trip of a Life Time.

The accommodations were great and the guides were amazing, they made sure we caught lots of fish. A word of warning: if you fish with Dave, plan on working hard, but also catching lots of fish and having plenty of laughs! - Rick Berry, CAL Custom Tile - Fresno, CA.

Dave,

I have known you and your family for a number of years.  As an avid outdoorsman and great fisherman, I just know your new venture operating the Santana fleet on the Amazon, will be a successful one.  I found the Santana 1 and the Amazon Santana boats, with its excellent boat staff and guides, to be ones of favor!  The food was great too!  I wouldn't hesitate to tell anyone to “Book with Hooked on Adventures” for an exciting, first-class Peacock bass fishing trip to the Amazon.  It truly was an “Experience of a Lifetime”.

- Ray Roberts,  Santana I and Amazon Santana Guest

Ray Robert's Pics

“The Santana yacht line is luxurious, better than any other Mother Ship that I’ve seen in the Amazon.  The staff is excellent, as is the food and service, and the guides are the most experienced for Peacock Bass in this region.”

- Ken Schultz, Author of the Ken Schultz’s Fishing Encyclopedia, Spectacular Fishing, Ken Schultz’s Guide to Great Destinations in North America, Field Guide to Freshwater Fish, Field Guide to Saltwater Fish, and Formerly with Field & Stream, and Commentator for ESPN’s BassCenter Fishing Editor

“The Santana has the most experienced giant Peacock Bass Guides in South America.”

- Larry Larsen, author of the Peacock Bass Library and Director of PeacockBassAssociation.com

"The best peacock bass fishing on the planet."

--John Beath, Editor of "Western Outdoors Magazine" March 2005

John Beath Pic

Trip Date: February 5 -13, 2010

“David, It was nice to get to meet you. The Brazil trip was really fantastic, the appetizers and grand assortment of food, the jungle with no bugs, the parrots, the monkeys, the camaraderie of our group, the new friends, not to mention the beautiful peacock bass! What a fish, and what an adventure!

The yacht and the bass boats were comfortable, well kept, expertly run, and well guided. I need to just leave the calendar open every year for this trip! We were well taken care of by the staff and guides. The daily laundry is so nice, and really works great for this trip. I don’t know how the staff does all the work in a day, but they do and I never want for anything.

The fact that you’ve kept this crew for so long shows both their respect for you and your loyalty to them. The fishing was great on this trip and the equipment was as always reliable and tough as it has to be with these monster fish.”

Complaints, Problems, Disappointments with the trip….NONE!

I hope you will use me for any future references, as it would be a pleasure to get to talk with people about this adventure. The time spent with my father was priceless and the new friends were icing on the cake.

— Derek Jolly

Derek Jolly Pic

Trip Date Sept. 24th

David McCarthy, an avid angler and Owner/Operator of Hooked On Adventures, couldn't have chosen a better operation as he takes over the Santana Fleet. Our fishing trip aboard the "Belle Amazon" yacht finishes with 1619 Amazon Peacock Bass.

The numbers speak for itself: 1619 Peacock Bass up to 24.5 lb. caught by Bob Irwin from Ocala Florida. Our group was a total of only 9 anglers, and we caught 19 over 20 lb. and 158 over 10 lb. with several ranging 15- 19 lb. Most of the bigger Peacock 's were caught on the larger top water plugs. They just love the sound of those ripping props. The 3-8 lb. peacock's were caught on Zara Spooks, jerk baits and feather jigs.

In addition to that, their famous Bartender and gracious host, “Harry”, greeted us with an ice cold juice and regional drinks to quench our thirst after a exciting, hard, and hot day of fishing. It was complimented by delicious meals prepared by Gourmet Chef Euelides with the help of our ladies Hildete & Mara. Our air-conditioned rooms were cleaned daily, and our laundry was done for us as well!

Like I have mentioned for the past 10 years, this outfit has the best guides in the Amazon and the service onboard the "Belle Amazon" and the "Amazon Santana” is second to none. Like I always say , " When you’re on a winning horse, why get off it?" Dave, I know you will have great success in you new venture, and I will do whatever I can to help you make it happen.

The one thing I can tell you is this “Once you come onboard the Santana and experience their guides and entire crew, you’d better be saving up for your next trip, because you will want to return “sooner” than “later”!

Capt. Frank Carbone

Florida Peacock Bass Guide

HawgHunter Guide Service

Peacock Bass Fishing
Nice Catch, Dave Maynard!
Peacock Bass Fishing
Peacock Bass Fishing